Director groped 12-year-old girl

PUBLISHED: 15:51 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 21:35 29 May 2010

A COMPANY director has been given a suspended prison sentence for groping a 12-year-old girl during an incident in the Dunmow area. Judge David Turner QC told Piers Beszant, 50, it was a split second of insane touching, which was completely out of charac

A COMPANY director has been given a suspended prison sentence for groping a 12-year-old girl during an incident in the Dunmow area.

Judge David Turner QC told Piers Beszant, 50, it was "a split second of insane touching, which was completely out of character".

But he added: "This was gratuitous, lustful groping, which crossed the borderline, which should never have been crossed. It was shameful as well as criminal."

Beszant, of The Slades, Lindsell, Dunmow, was before Chelmsford Crown Court for sentence after a jury convicted him of sexually touching a girl.

Beszant was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and placed under the supervision of a probation officer for a similar period.

He was also told to pay £1616 prosecution costs and ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years.

Diane Pigot, prosecuting, said the girl was at a house in the Dunmow area on April 4 last year when she said Beszant touched her on the left breast.

Miss Pigot said the girl sent her mother a text message telling her to call her as soon as possible. Later the girl went to Braintree Police Station and told officers what had taken place.

Beszant was interviewed by police and denied anything of a sexual nature had taken place with the girl. There had been no sexual touching and no improper behaviour at any time, he said.

Bernard Phelvin, mitigating, said Beszant maintained his innocence. "If it did happen he was drowsy and not acting in a normal way," he suggested.

"On any view this was wildly out of character," said Mr Phelvin. "For a man of his age and background the very fact of a conviction for an offence of this type is humiliating and something he will have to live with.

"That in itself is a certain amount of punishment."

Judge Turner told Beszant: "You have paid a high price for this moment of insanity. You have your lost your good character and attracted the sort of public approbium, which inevitably comes with behaviour of this kind."

Judge Turner added: "Others have spoken of you as public spirited and a decent person and I don't doubt any of that. But you have let yourself down badly. You have shamed yourself and your wife publicly.

"This incident was momentary, isolated and not extreme, but it caused immense unpleasantness to the victim and now you should feel fully ashamed.

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